Stage Door News
Toronto: Canadian Stage announces its summer programming for High Park
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
In the summer of 2021, as live performance slowly began again after a long hiatus, Canadian Stage brought the beloved High Park Amphitheatre back to life with a robust program of live theatre, music, dance, and film presented in collaboration with nineteen partner organizations and including twenty-one productions and events, engaging over 150 artists, and welcoming over 13,000 audience members – all re-connecting communities around the dream of live performance.
For 2022, the company is excited to bring back the beloved, time-honoured tradition of watching Shakespeare under the stars, while continuing to present a robust and eclectic line-up, including musical theatre, dance, and – new this year – a dynamic Summer Music Festival.
“This year’s programming aims to satisfy all the experiences audiences love and want to have in High Park,” says Canadian Stage Artistic Director Brendan Healy. “We are thrilled to bring Shakespeare back onto the amphitheatre stage. Shakespeare outside in the summer is a truly beloved tradition that has been passed down through generations and there is something distinctly magical about revelling in that language in the open air. In Anand Rajaram’s hands audiences can expect a wildly funny and irreverent AS YOU LIKE IT which will undoubtedly make for a must-see summer production.”
Healy adds, “It’s going to be a summer filled with music! In addition to another new Canadian musical from our friends at The Musical Stage Company, new compositions by a group of familiar Toronto musicians will be woven through AS YOU LIKE IT, we have an incredible tap dance series from dance Immersion – a kind of embodied music-making – and we are incredibly excited to launch a three-week summer music festival showcasing the amazing array of musical talent this city has to offer – this is truly summer at its best.”
“Last summer’s COVID restrictions provided a unique opportunity for new ideas – and these experimentations were thoroughly relished by our organization and audiences,” says Canadian Stage Executive Director Monica Esteves. The resumption of our four-decade long tradition of Shakespeare in High Park will continue to provide one of Toronto’s most beloved summer traditions for our vibrant and family-filled Dream audiences. To that tradition, we will now add NEW traditions – carrying forward the diversity of programming offered last year with a dynamic season of theatre, music, dance, and concerts that will bring people back for repeat visits throughout the summer.”
AS YOU LIKE IT July 28 – September 4
One of the Bard’s best-loved comedies, AS YOU LIKE IT is Shakespeare’s sparkling tale of disguise, romance, and adventure set in the forest of Arden and perfect for the High Park Stage. Directed by multi-hyphenate artist Anand Rajaram, this new production features Bren Eastcott as heroine Rosalind and Paolo Santalucia as her love Orlando, joined by Marty Adams, Maja Ardal, Astrid Atherly, Mairi Babb, Leigh Cameron, Belinda Corpuz, Shawn DeSouza-Coelho, Ken Hall, Dylan Roberts, and Eric Woolfe.
Continuing the success of its community partnerships from last season’s Dream, Canadian Stage is thrilled to have acclaimed Shadowland Theatre join the AS YOU LIKE IT team, helming set, costume, and props design for the production.
This new production of Shakespeare’s most musical play – with more songs than any other –will also feature original music by Canadian songwriters including Serena Ryder, Kiran Ahluwalia, and Maryem Toller.
LEGACY TAP DANCE CONCERT June 23-25 (June 26 rain date)
Ongoing partners dance Immersion return to Dream in High Park in June this year, with the LEGACY TAP DANCE CONCERT. Where dance meets music. Where tradition meets innovation. The concert celebrates Black culture born from the Harlem Renaissance, with a genre-bending intergenerational cast led by award-winning Tap Dance artists Travis Knights and Lisa La Touche, and Musical Director, Donny Milwalkee.
"Tap Dance and Jazz Music use boundless rhythms to communicate across cultures," comments Timea Wharton-Suri, dance Immersion's Curator & Program Director. "The LEGACY TAP DANCE CONCERT not only embodies this, but brings together the past, present, and future of the forms in an electrifying musical event."
DREAM IN HIGH PARK SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL June 30 – July 16
New this year, Canadian Stage is thrilled to present a Summer Music Festival celebrating one of the joys of summer – live music in the great outdoors. Featuring a wide-ranging treasure trove of beloved Toronto music artists – including some of Toronto’s best loved names like Jully Black and Ron Sexsmith – outdoor concerts under night skies will make for an unforgettable summer.
“Last summer, thousands of people were fortunate to experience the utterly magical performances of Polaris-winner Jeremy Dutcher and many other equally extraordinary musicians. In those moments, we collectively discovered how perfect the High Park Amphitheatre is for live music – with its spectacular sound and picturesque setting under the stars,” says Executive Director Monica Esteves.
The full line up for the Dream in High Park Summer Music Festival will be announced later this spring.
DIXON ROAD June 1st – 19th
Getting the season underway, the previously announced new musical DIXON ROAD comes from one of the most innovative and inspiring artists of the moment – Fatuma Adar. This original musical from the Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre tells the story of a Somali family who immigrate to Canada in 1991 as the civil war begins to tear their homeland apart. Incorporating contemporary verse, R&B, and traditional Somali melodies into an exhilarating story about dreams, displacement, and finding a new sense of home, DIXON ROAD is directed and choreographed by the Musical Stage Company Artistic Director Ray Hogg and will open the High Park Amphitheatre on June 1st running to June 19th.
Advanced tickets for Dixon Road, Legacy Series: Tap Dance, and As You Like It will go on sale to Canadian Stage subscribers on Tuesday April 12, 2022, at noon and for general sale on Thursday April 14, 2022, at noon. Tickets for the Dream in High Park Music Festival will go on sale to Canadian Stage subscribers on Monday May 25, 2022, at noon and for general sale on Wednesday May 27, 2022, at noon.
Ticket prices will vary based on production and performance. A minimum of 50% of ticket capacity will be made available at Pay-What-You-Wish pricing no later than 48 hours prior to each performance. Advertised ticket prices include applicable fees and HST. Visit www.canadianstage.com.
Photo: High Park performance. © 2021 Dahlia Katz.